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KSUM – French Space Agency Pact to Help Indian Startups Take Flight

Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) has signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with France’s space agency Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) through ‘Connect by CNES’ initiative, strengthening collaboration between French and Indian space tech ecosystems, besides paving the way for global exposure.

The agreement, which will enable Indian startups to scale new heights globally and broaden their market access, forms  part  of  the ‘Connect by CNES’  initiative,’ launched by the French space agency in 2018 to support innovative products and services using space technology and solutions.

Dr Saji Gopinath, CEO, KSUM and Dr Gilles Rabin, Director-Innovation, Applications and Science, CNES signed the LoI here the other day.

KSUM, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Airbus Biz Labs jointly formed the initiative called the Space Technology Application Development Ecosystem (STADE) to provide opportunities for startups and firms in space data analytics and developing equipment two months ago. 

The LoI will formalise the collaboration between KSUM and CNES through ‘Connect by CNES’ initiative on development of both Indian and French ecosystems. It will facilitate access to the services at the STADE and CNES’s partners (suppliers or users) for the development of products or services.

The agreement also opens up an opportunity to showcase products and services developed locally at the STADE on CNES’s platforms such as space technology exhibitions, investor meets or customer events. There will be sharing of knowledge and expertise between the companies operating within the STADE and the Nano Space Park (NSP).

As per the LoI, startups and small and medium companies operating within the STADE will get market access to potential customers and investors in France, provided they do not directly compete with French entities working on similar products or services.

French firms will get assistance to access the procurement units of  Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) and other ISRO installations in Kerala capital.

KSUM will coordinate with CNES to engage its partners on STADE network and provide access to the facilities within NSP. CNES will also be connected to the space community in Kerala.

KSUM will feature CNES as one of its global knowledge partners and share information pertaining to the facilities and engagement opportunities for the international space industry.

CNES will offer coordination with all its partners to facilitate business collaborations with STADE network. To encourage collaborations with innovative French and Indian entrepreneurs/startups, CNES will connect them to the network of experts, clusters, incubators and startups.  It will also facilitate the entry of Indian entrepreneurs to the French space ecosystem.

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